Brakes, my .02
I hear both sides of the debate. The brakes are too small, it is a design flaw so Nissan should fix it. There is a fix in the works (have heard this for a while), also they fixed it in 05.
On the other side I have heard 05's still have the problem here or there, there are hassle at the dealer to get the work done. Several trips to get new rotors and they install the 05 brakes.
1. It sounds like the 04 brakes are barely adequate for normal driving and the 05's are just marginally better. 2. Yes it is a 40,000 vehicle and in a perfect world nissan should fix it, but this is not a perfect world. 3. How good should they be when the "fix" is done? Are you expecting it to perform like a Porshe Cayenne or a Ford Explorer? The aftermarket people do want Porshe Cayenne performance and we do not look forward to taking off work 4 times to go to the dealer for a free $50.00 repair.
Arguement for a performance increase
I do not like the fact that I have to leave so much room to stop that everyone takes this as an invitation to cut me off. I end up making panic stops more often the more room I leave because more people dive right in. And there is nothing more nerve racking than making a panic stop when you are trying to be easy on the brakes to save them from brake judder problems. If you have driven a Mercedes Benz SUV, not being able to stop is the last thing on your mind. It's stock brakes are so large you measure the gap between the wheel and caliper with a feeler gage (instead of a tape measure for ours). For $1,300 I get to move up to that quality of brake. My comfort level will be more like a normal vehicle, it will make this beast easier and more relaxing to drive so I can get the full 40K of enjoyment out of it. I think big brakes are worth every penny. Nissan should put a Nismo sticker on one of these big brake kits and sell it as an option. Until then I am going to spend the money and do it right.
I have been pushing for stop tech to make a kit that goes on 18" wheels because going with 20" defeats the purpose due to increased weight and leverage the wheel has on the brake. For true performance upgrade it should work with the stock 18"'s. Looks like Stillin may be the only answer right now.
'04 smoke 4 x 4 3600 miles and brake judder
'05 mini cooper (doesn't need a thing)
'94 BMW 325iC braded steel lines/ slotted rotors